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As a Scot, I grew up drinking IRN BRU, which is probably one of the main reasons as to why, at 28, I no longer possess two of my rear molars. For the uninitiated, the country’s other national drink is a radioactive orange sugar bomb that has transcended its humble beginnings as a mere refreshment to that of a national icon on par with tartan or haggis or that baggage handler who literally tried to fight a burning terrorist.

I swear, it’s impossible to overstate just how much Scottish people love IRN BRU. Take, for instance, when earlier this year its creators tampered with the 117-year-old secret recipe in an attempt to halve its tooth-melting sugar content. The change made front-page news, with some stockpiling “original” cans as if it were a precious fossil fuel in the time of an energy apocalypse. A petition titled “Hands off our IRN BRU,” meanwhile, garnered over 50,000 signatures, the message simple: do not fuck with our IRN BRU (they did anyway, much to the dismay of both fans and dentists across the country).

Based on the other side of the Atlantic in California, I doubt the dudes at Vans have ever seen or heard of IRN BRU before (if they did, they’d probably assume, at least by looking at it, that it was some kind industrial paint-thinning solution, rather than a beverage fit for human consumption). As such, it’s with great serendipity that one of the brand’s latest Old Skool’s should mirror the drink’s signature packaging, arriving in a scintillating Orange and Blue colorway complete with ice-white laces and midsole.

Old Skool



Buy at Mr. Porter

Naturally, people in Scotland are pretty hyped about these, with the local media abuzz about how similar they look to their precious elixir. I’m not gonna lie: I’ve also copped. And not just because I’m a proud Scottish expat who wants to low-key communicate my love of fizzy juice. I copped because they’re dope.

Old Skools are the perfect summer beaters, and are one of the few kicks that look cool without socks when you’re trying to get a decent shorts ‘fit together. (Still, if you hate going bare feet, I'm sure these would look pretty great with some premium half-calf pairs from a brand like Noon Goons or ALYX.) With these, the orange pops hard AF against the blue canvas, while the navy foxing and white Jazz Stripe lend a touch of casualness. For those slightly colder evenings in the beer garden, you could even channel your inner Frank Ocean and try them with some cropped suit pants.

I’ll be honest, I don’t expect to get much wear out of these after I’m done wearing them over festival season. But that’s kinda the point: they cost under 100 bucks and are made to be destroyed. Just like your teeth after drinking IRN BRU.

Cop via the link above.

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